DOWNTOWN — The holidays aren’t all cheer and glittery decorations and sugar cookies: They’re also about package thefts.
At least that’s the case in Chicago, which was ranked third out of all major U.S. cities when it comes to having the most “porch pirates” — that is, people stealing packages off front porches.
The new rankings, released by a safety device review site called SafeWise, were put together using the FBI’s data on larceny and Google data on how often people search “missing package” and “stolen package” around the holiday season.
The data shows that, among major U.S. cities, Chicago ranks sixth for having the worst “porch pirates” year-round. But when the holiday season — Nov. 1-Jan. 5 — creeps up, so does interest in stolen and missing packages in Chicago.
The San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose area in California was ranked the worst, being named the No. 1 spot for package thefts year-round and No. 2 during the holidays.
Of course, Chicagoans have long complained about package thefts. Prom-going teens have had their shoes stolen, store managers have gained fame for chasing down package thieves and even schoolgirls have been caught on camera stealing packages.
“There are so many more packages being delivered this time of year that, yes, there would be an increase of mail theft reports,” said a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service.
When ordering something online, plan to be home when the package gets delivered or arrange for a trusted neighbor or friend to get the package, said the Postal Service spokeswoman.
SafeWise suggests those worried about theft get their parcels delivered somewhere else, like a relative’s or friend’s home (plenty of Chicagoans also told Block Club they get their packages delivered to their workplaces).
Chicagoans can also thwart package thieves by arranging to pick up their packages from the delivery service’s office or store or requiring the delivery service to get a signature before dropping off a package.
If a piece of mail has been stolen, you can report it to the Postal Inspection Service online or by calling 877-876-2455.
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